Wallabies team to play Springboks, Reece Hodge picked at fullback

Wallabies Mr Fix-It Reece Hodge has reclaimed the fullback jersey to play South Africa as the selection merry-go-round at the key position continues.

Hodge replaces Tom Wright in the No.15 jersey after Australia was brutally exposed by Argentina’s accurate kick-and-chase tactics in a record 48-17 loss in San Juan.

Rebels utility Hodge last started at fullback against England in the 21-17 loss in Sydney.

Watch every match of the Rugby Championship on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. Continues August 27 with Wallabies vs Springboks and All Blacks vs Pumas. All matches streaming ad free, live and on demand

At that stage Hodge was viewed as the fourth-choice option following injuries to Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway and Jordan Petaia.

And with the Springboks expected to continue their kick happy approach in Adelaide on Saturday, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is reverting to a safe pair of hands.

It is not the option David Campese would have gone with.

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“Reece Hodge is a good player in four positions but is he great in any of them? Jock Campbell is an actual proper 15 but they don’t use him,” the Wallabies legend told Wide World of Sports.

“I don’t know what they’re looking for. Tom Wright is a good winger, goes to fullback, has one bad game and they have to change him again.

“You’ve got a fullback in Jock Campbell that has been playing well for two years with the Reds. Now Tom Banks is not there, why don’t they pick him?”

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The 27-year-old Campbell is in the Rugby Championship squad but is yet to make his Test debut.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will name his full team at 1pm AEST on Thursday.

“We have used a few back there (at fullback),” Rennie said last week before settling on Hodge.

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“Tom Wright’s done a really good job for us at 15. He probably made a few errors last week that he’s disappointed about but we’re starting to create genuine depth there.

“We’re confident Kells (Kellaway) can play back there as well. You’ve seen Hodgey play there and Jordie had about two minutes before getting himself knocked out in the second Test against England.

“It wasn’t that long ago we had real question marks around the depth of that position but we do have options and we really want someone to nail it.

“(Campbell) is an excellent player, that’s been a great thing about having him in the camp – we’ve got to learn more intimately about him.

“He’s a very, very good footballer and very smart, a bit of a Conrad Smith-type of player in the back three. Just a really good rugby brain and very efficient skill set.”

Hodge was used off the bench in both Tests against Argentina and helped steer the Wallabies to victory in Mendoza following Quade Cooper’s Achilles tear.

SPRINGBOKS (15-1): Damian Willemse, Warrick Gelant, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Joseph Dweba, Ox Nche

Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Jaden Hendrikse, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn

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